by: Nelson Hicks Updated:
ATLANTA - Competitive eaters from across Atlanta and the southeast assembled at Cypress Street Pint and Plate Saturday to answer one question, how many hot dogs can one person consume in 10 minutes.
The eatery hosted a Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog-Eating Contest qualifier.
"I've always been able to eat a lot," Morgan told Nelson's News. "I was a big fan of the show 'Man vs. Food' and that's kind of how I started. Went and did a couple eating challenges and I did OK with it and I tried a contest out and I did OK with that and just kept going."
Following rousing introductions, organizers put 10 minutes on the clock and it was time to eat.
"The crowd was great," Cypress Street Pint and Plate owner Bill Streck said. "The eaters were awesome. I've seen a lot of things in my life and that was crazy, just blew me away."
Competitors have to eat both the hot dog and the bun. Most of the experienced eaters dunked the buns in water or a homemade liquid to help them go down.
While several of the competitors ate a couple dogs to start the contest, one glance down the table and it became evident, Morgan was the man to beat. Calories be darned, Morgan was looking for a ticket to Coney Island. The winner of this qualifying event earned a spot in the Nathan's Famous July 4 International Hot Dog-Eating Contest in New York.
"That's the biggest event of the year for us," Morgan said. "It's the Super Bowl of competitive eating."
And when the sloppy buns settled, it was Morgan who earned the trip. Morgan consumed 38 hot dogs, a personal best.
In order to place in the top three at the July 4 event, Morgan will likely have to do even better. Morgan came in sixth place in 2012 after eating 35 hot dogs. Winner Joey Chestnut tied his own world record by eating 68. Sonya Thomas won the women's event by eating 45.